News Room

News Release

For Immediate Release
April 23, 2013

IPFW Announces New Dean and Director

Key Info

  • IPFW announces new dean and director
  • John O’Connell new dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, effective July 1, 2013
  • David A. Peterson becomes new director of Financial Aid, effective May 1, 2013
IPFW Announces New Dean and Director Image 1
John O'Connell, dean, new IPFW College of Visual and Performing Arts Print-quality image

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Following two nation-wide searches, Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new dean and a new director.

Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Steven T. Sarratore announces John O’Connell is the new dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA), effective July 1, 2013. “The quality of the candidates who visited campus was high and I commend the search committee for their outstanding work. Please join me in welcoming John in his new (non-interim) role,” said Sarratore. O’Connell, who has served as interim dean of VPA since July of last year, will become the new dean July 1, 2013. “I am grateful to the search committee and my colleagues for their vote of confidence in this appointment! I am excited about the tremendous possibilities that lie ahead for me working alongside the talented and dedicated colleagues in the College of Visual and Performing Arts,” said O’Connell on his selection.

O’Connell began his tenure at IPFW in 2007 as chair and professor of the Department of Theatre. From 1998 to 2007, O’Connell was at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark., as an assistant and then associate professor of theatre. From 1995 to 1998 he was a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Prior to that, O’Connell worked in various off- and off-off Broadway theatres as a producer, director, and stage manager.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs George S. McClellan announces David A. Peterson is the new director of Financial Aid at IPFW. Peterson will begin his duties May 1. McClellan said, “Dave's professional experience includes service in a variety of roles at several colleges over the past 17 years. In addition, Dave served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Army Reserve for a total of 24 years in both stateside and overseas deployments. He earned a Master of Science in Education Administration and Foundations from Illinois State University and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, both from Illinois State University. I believe Dave will prove to be a great fit for the position and our community. Thanks go out to the members of the search committee and others at IPFW who assisted in the selection process.”

McClellan added, “Let me also take this opportunity to express IPFW's appreciation to Gerald Curd, who has served IPFW tremendously well during his time with us in Financial Aid. Most recently Gerry took on the role of interim director for that unit, and he and his colleagues have done a terrific job in keeping things running smoothly during this time of transition. Gerry will be retiring from IPFW at the end of April, and we wish him well as he and his wife move on to the next phase of their journey together.”

Peterson is very excited to be coming to IPFW. “I’m very much looking forward to working with the Financial Aid staff and students at IPFW to find all the financial aid options available to them. My wife, Shawn, and I are thrilled with the prospect of exploring the hiking and biking trails all over Fort Wayne and we can’t wait to get there, along with our daughter Erica, who will be starting kindergarten this fall.”

For more information on O’Connell’s appointment, contact Sarratore at 260-481-6116 or For more information on Peterson’s appointment, contact McClellan at 260-481-6844 or